Philadelphia, PA asked in Landlord - Tenant for New Jersey

Q: Can a landlord buy a duplex, then immediately try to evict under NJSA 2A:18-53? If so, why do we have NJSA 2A:18-61.1(l)

The buyer moved into the other unit almost a year before closing. Nothing was ever said or sent about the buyer/owner wanting to personally occupy my unit. After closing, he refused rent/sent 30 day notice to quit (because the duplex is now owner-occupied, he doesn't need good cause). The other unit has always been tenant-occupied since I moved into my unit in 2019. When my original lease (2 yrs) term ended, I wasn't offered a new lease because the property had been listed for sale. My old landlords did send a notice to quit saying the contract of sale required my unit to be vacant but went to closing over a month before LT trial date. After a few hours in court, that case was dismissed and now LL is trying to evict me for the same reason, but using different rules. I thought legislative intent behind 2A:18-61.3 (b)/1986 amendments was to prevent LL conduct like this, but I'm not a lawyer.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Matthew Schutz
Matthew Schutz
  • Landlord Tenant Lawyer
  • Flemington, NJ
  • Licensed in New Jersey

A: The problem you have is that under its terms the Anti-Eviction Act (AEA) does not apply to buildings which are 1) 3 units or less and 2) owner-occupied. When your new landlord moved into the building he removed your tenancy from the protections of the AEA. In that circumstance, the provisions of 2A:18-53 apply.

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